How to: 10 Ways to Excite Purchases from Ecommerce Shoppers


Shoppers in 2014 are quickly moving towards online shopping over traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts. Instant access, free shipping, lower prices, and oodles of items available all are making online spending an easier choice to make. Shoppers may even ‘showroom’ a store, walking around the brick-and-mortar location, then going home and getting a bigger discount from buying the product online.

This isn’t a bad thing, but how do retailers create an online experience that keeps up with ‘real world’ shopping. How can a website compete with a real person helping you? Can a website really make a consumer feel like they’re important, will it serve them the same way as an employee would?

Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

But How?

Retailers who take the time to learn about their customers and tailor their website accordingly can lift purchases and return visits exponentially. Excited shoppers spend more and come back more often. Merchants that capture shopping data for website optimization can attest – consumers who feel valued, spend money.

Here are ways to make shopping online a more exciting experience.

Ten Ways to Excite Online Purchases:

  1. Utilize on site banner advertising
  2. Use callout badges to motivate purchases
  3. Create specific product landing pages
  4. Create consistent, appealing product images
  5. Display product options clearly
  6. Use peer-based reviews to increase buyer confidence
  7. Help shoppers find products faster
  8. Anticipate users spelling mistakes
  9. Always provide products to buy
  10. Be ready to sell, no matter how they found you

Utilize Onsite Banner Advertising

Brick-and-mortar locations advertise in their windows. Websites can do the same, and more.

Banners on a website can create a visually exciting appearance for shoppers. Rather than a page full of just results, merchants can merchandize related or peripheral products with creative imagery. Learning from shopping behavior, merchants can optimize banners to build on customer satisfaction and raise average order values (AOV) by offering more, creatively.  Intelligent platforms should provide banner display contingent on what the shoppers’ searched keywords are. So, as shoppers type different search terms, different banners display on each search.

Wal-Mart Ecommerce

Wal-Mart uses banners on top each category page to increase sales

Creative Tips: Use banners to promote additional same brand items (help shoppers build an outfit, or create a ‘set’), A/B test banner imagery for click through rates (maybe use scenic images vs. product shots), promote discounts on multi-item purchases, or highlight the highest sought-after merchandise for each of your product categories at the top of each section.

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Use Callout Badges to Motivate Purchases

It’s no secret, consumers really like deals.

Using badges to promote is a great way to excite shoppers about different types of products. They’re eye-catching, can be utilized for any reason, and it allows shoppers to browse broadly across products with an easy way of identifying what’s being promoted. Badges can be used to highlight sales, new items, last in-stock, popular products, etc.

Motivate website sales with merchandising

Badges draw attention to products and delineate items visually for shoppers.

Creative Tips: Create different badge colors for different levels of discount (give your thrifty customers an easy way to find deals), Use different badge images for different types of merchandising (Maybe a ribbon for best seller, a coin for best deals, or a shipping box for free shipping)

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Create Specific Product Landing Pages

The benefit of online shopping, the shopper is telling you what they’re looking for.

Using site search data and website analytics, identify products that are heavily sought after and products that perform highly. Create unique product pages around them (if your platform doesn’t do this for you already) and begin marketing each product as a singular item. Shoppers are giving you keyword-rich data when they search for items. Giving them direct access to the products they’re looking for helps focused shoppers purchase quickly.

Use product pages in inbound marketing campaigns

Unique product pages allow shoppers to get detailed information about products. Also allowing for direct marketing potential.

Creative Tips: Once the landing pages are in place, optimize them for SEO and boost organic traffic. Use pay-per-click to drive highly interested consumers directly to the products they want. Package groups of landing page links into some outbound marketing, bringing customers back to your store ready to buy (maybe group landing pages around holiday sales, events, current trends into an email. You could even cross-promote specific pages in your banner advertising.)

Group products for increased ecommerce sales

Grouping products into a landing page quickly displays related items for an easy purchase.

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Create Consistent, Appealing Product Images

Online, products aren’t tangible yet, but every shopper looks at the product before purchasing.

We’re all judged on our looks, even websites. Making products super-visible is just as important as making them look good. Images provide so much more to the user than text, they’re not an option for online retailers, images are a must. While advanced product display might be overkill, a consistent image display promotes company professionalism and consumer trust.

Create compelling product photos

Clearly visible and attractive images make a huge difference in capturing shoppers’ attention.

Creative Tips: Make the shopper understand what it might feel like to hold and use the product with usage shots, close-ups, and photo-detailed benefits. Use images to bring out the strengths of the product in relation to how well it will please the shopper. The end result is, satisfaction.

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Display Product Options Clearly

In a physical store location items are clearly arranged, helping shoppers find products. A website should be no different, right? Right.

Most shopping carts allow for basic, even semi-advanced product sorting on categories. Many fall short of providing all the product options as a filterable attribute, but shoppers demand it. Empowering shoppers to independently find products they want by – brand, size, color, fabric, cut, etc using multi-facet selections is key to elevating product visibility and popularity. Consumers can’t buy what they can’t find.

ecommerce merchandising

Using product facets to display options to shoppers drives faster conversions and reduces website abandonment.

Creative Tips: Use colors frequently to allow shoppers to refine and search for products most appealing to them. Make sure you have images of each color too – that will help boost conversions. Size selection is also another top facet shoppers like to refine from in apparel. Combine size and color and every visitor can quickly find the products that are most attractive to them and in their size.

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Use Peer-based Reviews to Increase Buyer Confidence

Birds of a feather, flock together … and review items.

Services like Yotpo provide social media integrations and peer-based product reviews for e-commerce websites. Adding social reviews and consumer input to the store front immediately adds trust and puts shoppers at ease while browsing. Reviews and ratings can be placed within search results and also product pages, even shared via a social network. A stat to remember for all merchants, every shopper looks for images and reviews before buying online. Provide both, they’ll stay on your website and thank you for a great shopping experience by spending money.

social commerce

Adding peer reviews to product displays promote shopper trust.

Creative Tips: Create trust and customer loyalty with tools like Yotpo. Providing sharable, ratable content for shoppers to use expedites the purchase process and proliferates products around social circles for additional conversions.  If possible, use the data feed from your review tools to provide additional, filterable rating attributes for shoppers to use. That way, product options and product reviews can be selected to refine product results.

An example: Customers with size, color, and ratings selected can find 10.5, green, 5-star rated shoes within three clicks. Merchandising at it’s best.

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Help Shoppers Find Products Faster

Load times and confusing visuals detract users from their ‘intent to buy’.

Look for ways to improve the speed of the shopping experience. Things like product finders, category navigation, banners, badges, landing pages are all great ways to promote products. In turn, they also increase the capability of a shopper being able to quickly find, select and purchase goods. Win-win. Think of how fast you can acquire items from Amazon. Customer expectations have been set high by companies with online services like theirs.

promote products to visitors quickly

Provide clear options for shoppers to find and purchase items quickly.

Creative Tips: Use website analytics to identify popular products, then look at tools like category navigation and product finders to see what fits best with the website architecture. It’s not about having it all at once, each method has different benefits, it’s important to be effective with changes to customer service. Your customers are giving you the analytics you need to merchandize well, use that information to give them what they’re looking for.

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Anticipate Spelling of Items Searched

Coke, pop, and soda all mean the same thing to different people.

Shoppers need help, whether they admit it or not. Online, shoppers need to feel like finding products is easy and fast. Search tools that don’t take into account common typo’s, regional spelling differences, regional slang, synonyms, plurals, etc – upset shoppers, then they leave.

Use synonyms to boost conversions

Tailoring site search to find typo’s and misspellings helps shoppers’ complete purchases.

Creative Tips: Look into inbound keyword data to identify terms shoppers use to find the website. Does that data match the terms used in content or product descriptions? Using website category names to research additional synonyms is another easy way to expand the visibility of product results.

An example: tee(s), t-shirt(s), tshirt(s), shirt(s), screened tee(s) could all be referring to one category in a store front.

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Always Provide Products to Buy

Consumers can’t buy products that aren’t there.

The dreaded ‘no results’ page. Ugh. What a terrible way to reward a dedicated shopper that worked diligently, filtering items into oblivion. Like, digging a hole in the sand. Sites that replace a no results page with a ‘recommended items’ or ‘like items’ see considerably more return customers and elevated conversion rates by assisting shoppers with their intent to purchase.

When terms aren't recognized by the shopping cart, make adjustments to keep the shopper engaged.

When terms aren’t recognized by the shopping cart, make adjustments to keep the shopper engaged.

Creative Tips: Develop the merchandising and messaging in the ‘no results’ page for conversions. Try banners, a search box, list of related items, optional items, etc. Maybe even offer a discount to the shopper letting them know while products are not available, you appreciate their business.

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Be Ready to Sell, No Matter How They Find You

There are over 1.2 billion people able to access the internet from their phones globally.

Mobile commerce is here. It’s been here for a while now. Testing the purchase process with phones and tablets is just as crucial as testing desktop success these days. With 15% of internet traffic attributed to mobile devices, websites with cumbersome m-commerce experiences are losing conversions and customer loyalty.

responsive webdesign in ecommerce

Be ready to sell products no matter how the shopper gets to your website.

Creative Tips: Consider using responsive website technology to mitigate website management overhead, rather than managing different code sets for each device type. Also, consider the shopping behavior for each device and what they purchase. Use the analytics to tailor product offerings for each experience.

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